Amy has to collect 462 jewels scattered throughout her warehouse in order to prepare for the arrival of the Cyborg Queen. Each of the 42 levels contains ten jewels, and you must collect all of them within the time limit. If you manage to complete the level with more then ten seconds remaining on the clock, you will receive a bonus jewel. The concept of this platform game is very simple, but it’s fun to play. The graphics are clear and detailed and there are a couple of merry little tunes to listen to on the main menu and while you play. The levels are very cleverly designed and the inclusion of a time limit adds to the challenge.
(Interceptor Software, 1984)
Reviewed by Piero Serra
You are the sole survivor of a ship that was transporting a wedding gift for an Indian princess from Queen Victoria. En route, your ship was raided by pirates who stole the gift – the fabled Jewels of Babylon. Your task is to locate the pirates and recover the jewels from their clutches. This is a text adventure with a very basic parser. It will reject almost everything you type, with disgruntled complaints of “Why bother?” or “I don’t know the word ____!” The settings are only curtly described and the puzzles are on the dull side. What makes the game worth looking at are the stylish location graphics which give it some atmosphere. Unfortunately they draw quite slowly and often redraw multiple times if you are going through one of the many boring mazes in the game. It’s OK but there are far better text adventures available.
President Halley’s daughter Samantha has been kidnapped by Vulkhor, who wants to know the location of a secret weapon that will allow him to take over the universe. Oh my goodness! This is a job for Jim Power, the chief of President Halley’s protection squad, who goes to Mutant Planet to rescue Samantha. The game is a fairly run-of-the-mill mixture of platform and shoot-’em-up action; jump across platforms, shoot enemies, and collect the bonuses they leave behind. The graphics look good, but the scrolling is very jerky indeed, and this also makes the gameplay frustrating, as Jim often won’t jump when you want him to. The sound effects and music are also really bad.
- Knowledge of French is required in order to play this game properly.
If you have ever wanted to know what it’s like to run your own shop, this game may well interest you. You are the owner of a small toy shop in a little town, but you have greater ambitions. Customers will enter your shop and ask for an item, and you have to walk over to the display and fetch it for them. If you take too long doing this, or the item isn’t available and you fob off the customer with excuses, he or she walks out and your reputation diminishes. At the end of each day, you must replenish your stock. Eventually, you should earn enough money to expand your business by moving to a better location and selling other items such as clothes, books, electrical equipment and computer games. This is actually a fairly entertaining game with colourful, cheerful graphics, although some people may find it rather easy and lacking any real challenge.
(Beyond Belief, 1992)
You would think that with all the football management games that have been released for the CPC, that this one, released in 1992, would be excellent – but some people never learn. You’re the new manager of Kettering FC, who finished third from bottom in the Conference league last season, and you’re entrusted with restoring the team’s fortunes. There are several things wrong with this game. The transfer market system is stupid; the players magically become defenders, midfields or forwards depending on what vacancies you have in your team, and the game is far too hard – you’re doing well if you score any goals in the entire season! There isn’t even an option to save the game! This game definitely belongs in the relegation zone.
(Rainbow Arts, 1989)
It is not often that one encounters games that make you want to throw your keyboard at the monitor in frustration, but this is one example. The concept is fairly novel – take a bog-standard platform game, but instead of controlling a person, you control a bat, and you must guide the bouncing ball to the end of the level and making sure it avoids the traps. There are also bricks to destroy, Breakout-style. The ball is incredibly hard to control, the game is too fast, and positioning your bat accurately is impossible. What’s just as bad is that you only have one life – that’s really helpful!
Many years ago, the Bracelet of Turani was created to protect the land of Aquitania from the influence of the Green Witches. However, a witch called Jannedor has managed to break up the bracelet and its five charms, which are the real source of its magical powers. Now Aquitania is under a spell of bad luck, and you must recover the charms in order to restore the bracelet’s powers. This text adventure has a very quirky sense of humour indeed, especially when you examine the many objects that you can get! The difficulty level is set perfectly, and interestingly, you can’t die – although if you solve some puzzles incorrectly, you will lose some luck and be unable to complete the game later on! This is another brilliant adventure from Magnetic Scrolls, although the graphics aren’t quite of the same standard as their previous games.
(Zeppelin Games, 1991)
Reviewed by Richard Lamond
Jocky Wilson has six variations on the game of darts for us this time in his second Zeppelin game. Football sees you trying to hit a bullseye followed by ten doubles. Dart Bowls starts with you throwing a ‘jack’ to which you and your opponent must score closest to win points. Scram involves trying to outscore your opponent while they eliminate sectors of the board. Ten Dart Century is a race to get closest to 100 with ten consecutive darts. Shanghai forces you to select a single sector and play within that to score points. Regular 501 darts rounds off proceedings. A game for one or two players, this is not worth the effort. It’s a very poor Spectrum port where the computer is far too good even on the lowest difficulty level. The controls are imprecise and the number of bounce out darts you throw is unrealistic.
See also: Jocky Wilson’s Darts Challenge.
(Zeppelin Games, 1989)
Jocky Wilson was a Scottish darts player who won the Embassy World Darts Championship twice, in 1982 and 1989. This set of darts games lets you and up to three friends play darts (although you don’t have to smoke and drink as much as Jocky). As well as playing in a tournament, you can try a ‘round the clock’ game in which you must hit the numbers 1 to 20 on the dartboard in order. To aim the dart, you move it about the dartboard, but it constantly rotates so that aiming the dart precisely is quite difficult. For this reason, it’s not as good as some other darts games I’ve played as it takes a considerable amount of patience and practice to get used to playing the game.
See also: Jocky Wilson’s Compendium of Darts.
Reviewed by Chris Lennard
Someone has to take on the terrorists and there’s only one man for the job – Joe Blade. Guide our hero in this quirky platformer around the enemy base freeing the hostages, solving the puzzles to arm the bombs whilst collecting any keys along the way. However, all this has to be completed before the explosives go off, so it’s also a battle against time. It’s unfortunate that the monochrome graphics and poor sound really let down what is actually quite a good challenge.